ZANESVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Hundreds of curiosity-seekers, horse-traders and other people on Wednesday attended an auction of the estate of a suicidal man who released dozens of exotic animals including lions and tigers almost two years ago.
Petting zoo equipment, motorcycles and Harley-Davidson T-shirts were among the thousands of items from Terry Thompson’s estate for sale at his farm in Zanesville, in eastern Ohio.
The auction caused traffic near the farm as thousands of people paid the $25-per-car admission fee, the Times Recorder newspaper (http://ohne.ws/14d4SS5) reported.
Bellaire resident Brad DeWitt said he didn’t mind waiting in line to pay for his winning bid on a motorcycle.
“I waited about two hours in a line that was maybe moving like 5 feet at a time,” DeWitt told the newspaper. “But I got what I was looking for, a Yamaha motorcycle.”
The auction was run by SE Ohio Auctions owner Jeff Koehler, who said vintage cars were among the highlights. Koehler and volunteers spent months cataloging the items, which were displayed under tents, in a barn and in a field.
The property’s driveway was transformed into an improvised food court, offering hot dogs, burgers and pizza in a carnival-type setting.
Car parts including tires, rims and tailpipes littered an area at the property’s main barn. Horses up for bid grazed the farm. One large tent covered hot rod vehicles and racks of T-shirts from a Harley-Davidson shop Thompson operated for several years.
Thompson released his exotic animals, including bears and rare Bengal tigers, in October 2011 before killing himself. Law enforcement officers were ordered to kill the roaming animals instead of trying to take them down with tranquilizers for fear those hit with tranquilizer darts would escape in the darkness before they dropped and would regain consciousness later.
Zanesville resident Sam Kopchak, whose property abuts the Thompson property, recalled finding himself standing about 30 feet from a loose lion before it was killed.
Information from: Times Recorder, http://www.zanesvilletimesrecorder.com